Skeptiko Roundtable with Seriah and Joshua from WhereDidTheRoadGo |339|

#1
Skeptiko Roundtable with Seriah and Joshua from WhereDidTheRoadGo |339|
by Alex Tsakiris | Feb 7 | Consciousness Science, Others

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Seriah Azkath and Joshua Cutchin explore all manner of paranormal phenomena in a very sharp, insightful way.

photo by: WhereDidTheRoadGo
Alex Tsakiris:
As those of you listening probably know by now, I am a fan of podcasting, as well as being a podcaster, and when I find a show I like, I fell obligated to pass it along and that’s certainly the case with wheredidtheroadgo.com, a show that explores all manner of paranormal, phenomena and other weirdness we’re a part of… and does it in a very sharp, insightful and unique way. And that’s largely due to the show’s creator and host Seriah Azkath, who joins us today… Let’s also introduce the other person we have with us today, because joining us is another guy who is responsible for some of the cool stuff, and some of the ways you’ve taken the show Seriah, Joshua Cutchin, a guy who really burst onto the scene in 2015 with his acclaimed book, A Trojan Feast: The Food and Drink Offerings Of Aliens, Faeries, and Sasquatch, which is really a serious, well-researchedbook and like I said, just was acclaimed by everyone in this field for exploring these unexplored connections between food and food offerings and various kinds of paranormal accounts. Then Josh followed it up, just this last year, with a book, The Brimstone Deceit: An In-Depth Examination of Supernatural Scents, Otherworldly Odors and MonstrousMiasmas…

Seriah Azkath: We can’t understand these things for what they are, because our brains are limited and even though mind may not equal brain, the brain is what we have to use to interpret our reality and a lot of this stuff may just be beyond the capability of our brain to actually faithfully interpret.

Joshua Cutchin: Yeah, I know, I agree, you’ve got a 12 inch, black and wide, tube television, you’re not going to be able to see some of the detail in a film that was released last year.

I think the way to really sell is to sort of just beat them at their own game and I think that, if we can keep on, you know, knocking at the door of what consciousness really is, it isn’t the end game, because I think it’s going to open up a lot more stuff after that, but like, if we can just undermine that one thing, it really does make everything fall down like a house of cards.

Seriah Azkath: Now, it’s entirely possible the UFO phenomenon has something to do with extra-terrestrials, but not in the materialistic way that’s always pushed. So that materialistic model isn’t just with science but it’s also in so many people studying the paranormal, that they just, everything has to be nuts and bolts and the facts do not support that nuts and bolts scenario.
 
#2
We all know something about consciousness because we experience it. Even though science can't measure consciousness (qualia), mind can measure qualia through ESP. Science can't know what blue looks like to you, or how you feel when you feel love, but some psychics can.

The difficulty in getting science to accept paranormal phenomena is that doing science tends to make people narrow minded and since methodological naturalism became widely accepted, it is extremely hard to undo that because it is reinforced by factors inherent in doing science.

There are many reasons (see below for details):
  • Some scientists experience cognitive bias because materialism gives them prestige.
  • Humans can't think analytically and intuitively at the same time and due to neuroplasticity scientists become fixed in analytical thinking and they become unable to conceive of anything that cannot be proved through reductionism.
  • Certain scientists used Darwinism to make methodological naturalism a part of mainstream science - making religion heretical to science.
  • Some atheists have promulgated the fallacy that religion is at war with science. (History shows this is not correct, it is atheism that is at war with religion.)


https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/suppressed_parapsychology

Dean Radin, in his book "The Conscious Universe" in the chapter "Seeing Psi" proposes that some scientists may have too much self interest in preserving the materialist status quo to be objective about psychic phenomena. He writes that if this is true, belief in psychic phenomena should depend how committed a person is to the materialist world view. He then presents evidence to support this contention showing that 68% of the general public believe in the possibility of psychic phenomena, 55% of college professors also believe, 30% of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) division heads believe, but only 6% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) believe in psychic phenomena.

Radin points out that a skeptic might suggest that this dependency is due to greater knowledge about perceptual and memory biases that are said to lead to mistaken belief in psychic phenomena. But it is also true that the skeptics' own perceptual and memory biases might be the cause of their skepticism. It seems unlikely that there would be a great difference in knowledge about perceptual and memory biases between AAAS division heads and NAS members. However, there would be a difference in attachment to the scientific world view since being a NAS member is more prestigious than being an AAAS division head. Therefore the contention that the cause of disbelief is due to perceptual and memory biases in skeptics seems to be justified.

It should be understood that Radin is not saying NAS members are deliberately dishonest about the existence of psychic phenomena. He is saying they are so caught up in the scientific world view, (for example, because they get a lot of personal status from it, or because they spend their careers defining that world view) that they are unconsciously unable to accept that the scientific world view might be so seriously flawed, that it could have such big gaps in it, that psychic phenomena could be real.

https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_skeptics_rational

Research has shown that people who think analytically rather than intuitively tend to be atheists. People who analyze problems using logic, because of their education, career, or innate characteristics, may become habituated to reductionist analysis. Reductionism is the belief that something complex can be understood by the interaction of simpler components. This way of thinking works well in many branches of science. Psychology can be explained in terms of biology, which can be explained in terms of chemistry, which can be explained in terms of physics. However, some scientists, engineers, philosophers, and other intellectuals, may become so habituated to reductionist thinking that they are unable to conceive that some phenomena cannot be explained in terms of simpler phenomena. For example, the subjective experience of consciousness, what pain feels like, or what red looks like, cannot be understood through reductionism. Psychic phenomena that cannot be explained by current scientific theories, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and precognition cannot be understood through reductionism. This is why some people who are habituated to reductionist thinking simply cannot conceive that psychic phenomena could be real or consciousness might be nonphysical and survive bodily death. Reductionists suggest consciousness is an epiphenomenon even though that is a poor explanation of consciousness because it is the best they can conceive of within their reductionist prison.

...

Some people hold a grudge against religion because they have been harmed psychologically by overly dogmatic upbringing, or because some religion condemns their lifestyle choices. They may choose to vilify anything that relates to the supernatural, including psychic phenomena. Often this type of skeptic is a victim of Christianity who has been brainwashed by church logic who has substituted the extreme dogmatism of Christianity with the extreme dogmatism of the religion of materialism.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_science

Why Scientists are often Narrow-minded

George Orwell: "... the scientists themselves would benefit by a little education." Darwin agrees.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/08/george-orwell-scientists-themselves.html

Why are so Many Scientists Pseudo-skeptics?
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/01/someone-in-internet-discussion-forum.html

Perceptual Bias in Parapsychology
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/perceptual-bias-in-parapsychology.html

...

The Brain Can't Empathize And Analyze At Same Time
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252241.php

Why Don't Psychopaths Believe in Dualism?
http://ncu9np.blogspot.com/2015/05/pl9-tsc-2012-anthony-jack-why-dont.html

A scientific case for conceptual dualism: The problem of consciousness and the opposing domains hypothesis.
http://tonyjack.org/files/2013 Jack A scientific case for conceptual dualism (1).pdf


http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/09/t-h-huxley-accidental-founder-of-modern.html

Why are so many scientist skeptics? Because naturalism is an implicit part of the culture of science and science students are indoctrinated in that philosophy during their education. Naturalism is the belief that science should only study natural processes and consider natural explanations for phenomena. This is a mistake. Science should be the search for the truth where ever it leads. This flaw in the culture of science is due to a large extent to T. H. Huxley and the X club. The X Club was Founded by T. H. Huxley and played an important role in making naturalism a fundamental tenet of modern science.
The nine men who would compose the X Club already knew each other well. By the 1860s, friendships had turned the group into a social network, and the men often dined and went on holidays together. After Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, the men began working together to aid the cause for naturalism and natural history.

...

More importantly, the men of the club all shared an interest in natural history, naturalism, and a more general pursuit of intellectual thought free from religious influence, commonly referred to as academic liberalism.

- Wikipedia​
...

Because of T. H Huxley and the X club, naturalism has become so ingrained in modern scientific culture and education, students don't even realize they are being indoctrinated. Because of this, Huxley can be considered a major cause of modern of science's intolerance to psychic phenomena and the source of modern pseudo-skepticism.

It is unfortunate that Darwin was used this way in the adoption of philosophical naturalism and materialism by the scientific establishment. Materialism is a gross misrepresentation of Darwin's thinking. Darwin believed that natual laws were designed - which is a form of intelligent design. Darwin also doubted human reason could be reliable if it arose through natural selection. If you cannot trust reason, then it is not rational to believe in anything including materialism.

...
Because naturalism is such an integral part of the scientific worldview, working as a scientist tends to brainwash a person into believing in physicalism. This is because scientists spend all their time trying to find physicalist solutions to problems. They get stuck thinking that way and can't conceive there might be something that current science can't explain or that there could be significant gaps in scientific knowledge. Like the proverbial man with a hammer to whom everything looks like a nail, to a scientist every question must have a physicalist answer.​
http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2016/04/warfare-thesis-failure-leaves-evolution.html

Ever since Voltaire mythologized the Galileo Affair, Hume’s Philo demolished Cleanthes, and Gibbon blamed pretty much everything on the Christians, evolutionary thinking has had an unbeatable template: The Warfare Thesis. Anyone who opposes or even questions evolution is automatically branded as having religious motives. Religion is at war with science. That claim has failed the test of historiography over and over, but so what? Who cares about history? Certainly not journalists, policy makers, federal judges, textbook authors, and anyone else who matters. But now there is an entirely different, empirical, falsification of the Warfare Thesis, and evolutionists are in full-panic.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2015/03/video-lecture-by-john-lennox-explains.html

Lennox also makes the case that science and theology are not in conflict. Science and theology provide different kinds of explanations. You can explain a car by describing an internal combustion engine, and you can explain a car as a product of the company founded by Henry Ford. Both explanations are true, but they are different kinds of explanations. Many Nobel Prize winning scientists believe in God. Lennox says, "We owe modern science to Christianity directly. All the early pioneers Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Clerk Maxwell were all Christians." He says Christian faith is based on evidence and the faith modern scientists have that nature is orderly and subject to natural laws originated from religious beliefs about God. Science is man's attempt to understand the universe created by God. God is not a god of the gaps who's role is diminished with every scientific discovery. That misconception arises when you believe there is only one kind of explanation. God is the creator of the natural laws scientists are trying to discover.

The conflict is between atheism and theism. Lennox sides with the theists and concludes that it is atheism that is incompatible with science.
Nobel Prize winners Erwin Schrödinger, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Guglielmo Marconi, Brian Josephson, William Phillips, Richard Smalley, Arno Penzias, Charles Townes, Arthur Compton, Antony Hewish, Christian Anfinsen, Walter Kohn, Arthur Schawlow and scientists, Charles Darwin, Sir Fred Hoyle, John von Neumann, Wernher von Braun, and Louis Pasteur, believed the scientific evidence demonstrates the existence of God or that the universe was designed:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers
There are many anecdotes of high strangeness here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/
 
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#4
Alex's questions at the end of the podcast:

Has the term "consciousness" been misappropriated or misused by the paranormal community in general? For example, the UFO community use the term one way, the paranormal community in another, but not everyone means the same thing. Do we need more grounding in what we're talking about when we refer to consciousness -- is that even possible when we're not even sure what consciousness is?
 
#6
At the beginning of the show, when I heard Cutchin's morbid kundalini explanation, I thought... what kundalini... you're schizophrenic, lol.

Anyway I googled 'morbid kundalini' and found some interesting things. Might be worth further exploring...this kundalini method

Sometimes I do searches to find new 'paranormal' type podcasts and came upon their show some months back. There's a bunch of others I check in on for new topics. Thing is, I find a lot of these shows are basically everyone having the same group of other paranormal podcaster's as guests on each others shows. Even outside guests seems to be a shifting handful... the missing 411 guy, the cryptozoology guy, the rendlesham forest guy, the dyatlov pass guy, the creatures in the woods guy and gal, the EVP guy, the ufo usual suspects, etc etc. Yeah, its a 'bubble'.
 
#7
If the ultimate nature of reality is non-dual - emanating from a single source and eventually all returning to that source - then certain metaphors can be applied to all of reality: "it's all consciousness" or "it's all information" or "it's all light quantum entangled" or "it's all God" or "it's all energy" or "it's all vibration" or "it's all different expressions of myself" etc.

We can come up with all kinds of metaphors to explain existence and these metaphors contain a truth which is not literal and not approachable directly with words anymore than one can eat one's own head. But trying to describe it is interesting and fun and creative, and it is this reflexivity that is the foundation of creation (to use another metaphor). "In the beginning, ...the Spirit of God brooded over the waters..." (self-reflection)

Each metaphor can become a lens through which we can see reality. This lens makes certain aspects of reality pop out in clarity in a way we hadn't seen before. But we make a mistake if we get stuck and only ever look through one lens, because playing with another lens/metaphor yields different insights.

Personally (and this may be true of others here), I tend to go on these metaphor kicks where a new metaphor for reality leads to a rush of epiphanies and connections I hadn't made before. I then tend to view reality through this metaphor for a long while until I've thoroughly exhausted it's revelations and it at last seems to become a cliche.

Then a new metaphor/lens comes on the scene and it's the hot new thing yielding fruitful epiphanies and the cycle repeats.

At some point during the scientific revolution, the metaphor "it's all matter: very tiny bouncing billiard balls" got applied to all reality. This yielded many fruitful insights for a while. So many insights were yielded that people got very attached to this metaphor until it became tired and cliche and exhausted its revelations.

All metaphors have to be stretched to fit around all of reality. Eventually we reach a point where the metaphor is stretched so thin we can barely see how it applies or it is stretched to the point that the original essential meaning of the words is almost entirely lost.

This same processes has happened with "consciousness". "It's all consciousness" is not literal, but a metaphor. It yields insights. But it has very quickly become a cliche that has been stretched pretty thin in certain areas.

The metaphor I'm currently stuck on is pattern and structure. It's all structure. Maybe it's because I'm an engineer. But oddly enough this metaphor has also led me to rediscover the metaphor that "it's all love" or "God is love". Love is a structure creating emotion and action. Hierarchical structure becomes corrupt and unstable over time if there is not benevolence from the top. A lack of love is destructive. Since we find ourselves enmeshed in a structure that is highly stable and partly hierarchical, I can only conclude from this stability that love prevails in this hierarchy.
 
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#8
...I tend to go on these metaphor kicks where a new metaphor for reality leads to a rush of epiphanies and connections I hadn't made before. I then tend to view reality through this metaphor for a long while until I've thoroughly exhausted it's revelations and it at least seems to become a cliche.
nice :) I can relate this need for novelty... and the sense of (and if it's an illusion/maya, I'm not quite willing to let go) personal development.

The metaphor I'm currently stuck on is pattern and structure. It's all structure. Maybe it's because I'm an engineer. But oddly enough this metaphor has also led me to rediscover the metaphor that "it's all love" or "God is love". Love is a structure creating emotion and action. Hierarchical structure becomes corrupt and unstable over time if there is not benevolence from the top. A lack of love is destructive. Since we find ourselves enmeshed in a structure that is highly stable and partly hierarchical, I can only conclude from this stability that love prevails in this hierarchy.
I'm still working on this one :)
 
#9
Interesting show. Some comments.

Once again discussion of evil, and everything reverts back to the Newtonian physics world of separation. There is me and you, negative positive, black white, darkness light, and good versus evil. It is a world were active evolutionary learning processes are changed to separate random nouns.

There are the Pizzagate guys, and then those of us who do no evil. We do unfortunate things like not brush our teeth, steal as teenagers, or punch someone in the head, or drive while drinking. Those things, however, are on the other side of the dividing line that separates unfortunate missteps from evil. The defining line also has to ignore the reincarnation world.

Imagine a day in the future when you die and you are greeted by Hermann Goering and Joseph Goebbels with the words, “Welcome back, Heil, mein Führer!"

Is there assurance that won’t happen? Talk about an Ebenezer Scrooge moment.

In our past hundreds of lives will there have been a time when we killed someone in a state of war or passion. Chances I would say are pretty good. Are we then evil for the rest of eternity? Are there evil people or people who do evil things? In the telling words of Jesus, “Let he who is perfect cast the first stone.”

Isis beheads people and we scream “evil” forgetting that we execute people and used the guillotine as late as 1977. Is our killing justified and theirs’s unjust? They kill thousands and we call for their extermination. Yet when we are responsible for the death of 500,000 children in Iraq, the US Secretary of State tells 60 minutes it was justified. Are they evil, or is America the “Great Satan?”

Aliens have mutilated 10,000 cattle in 50 years and we separate them as evil acts by evil beings. On the other hand, in America we kill 41.7 million cows and calves (2+ billion plus in 50 years) a year. In a Newtonian physics world, our is justified killing and there is not. Will Americans be punished in the afterlife for what they have done to poor innocent cattle? If the cows got to vote who would they say the evil being are?

Aliens abduct (if we reject the argument that this is soul contract like almost everything else in a reincarnation world) people for a couple hours and we scream evil. At the same time, America continues to hold Muslims without trial at Guantanamo Bay combining Inhuman and degrading treatment for decades. Are all Americans evil for allowing this to continue?

Try defining evil people without the belief in separation. I don’t think it can be done.
 
#11
There are the Pizzagate guys, and then those of us who do no evil. We do unfortunate things like not brush our teeth, steal as teenagers, or punch someone in the head, or drive while drinking. Those things, however, are on the other side of the dividing line that separates unfortunate missteps from evil. The defining line also has to ignore the reincarnation world.
I generally agree, and I think we sometimes make things more complicated than is necessary. I mean, come on, we all know the difference between right and wrong. The NDE research Dr. Jeff Long has compiled seems to confirm this (329).

In our past hundreds of lives will there have been a time when we killed someone in a state of war or passion. Chances I would say are pretty good. Are we then evil for the rest of eternity? Are there evil people or people who do evil things? In the telling words of Jesus, “Let he who is perfect cast the first stone.”
true enough. then again, this seems to be one of those things he didn't that actually say, but inspired someone to write... if one believes in the historical Jesus.

but yr point about reincarnation in inescapable. that's why I always think back to the my interview with Brad Warner who said (paraphrasing), "ok, so you might think you had this or that past live, so that's all led you to what you're going to do right now."
 
#12
If the ultimate nature of reality is non-dual - emanating from a single source and eventually all returning to that source - then certain metaphors can be applied to all of reality: "it's all consciousness" or "it's all information" or "it's all light quantum entangled" or "it's all God" or "it's all energy" or "it's all vibration" or "it's all different expressions of myself" etc.

We can come up with all kinds of metaphors to explain existence and these metaphors contain a truth which is not literal and not approachable directly with words anymore than one can eat one's own head. But trying to describe it is interesting and fun and creative, and it is this reflexivity that is the foundation of creation (to use another metaphor). "In the beginning, ...the Spirit of God brooded over the waters..." (self-reflection)

Each metaphor can become a lens through which we can see reality. This lens makes certain aspects of reality pop out in clarity in a way we hadn't seen before. But we make a mistake if we get stuck and only ever look through one lens, because playing with another lens/metaphor yields different insights.

Personally (and this may be true of others here), I tend to go on these metaphor kicks where a new metaphor for reality leads to a rush of epiphanies and connections I hadn't made before. I then tend to view reality through this metaphor for a long while until I've thoroughly exhausted it's revelations and it at last seems to become a cliche.

Then a new metaphor/lens comes on the scene and it's the hot new thing yielding fruitful epiphanies and the cycle repeats.

At some point during the scientific revolution, the metaphor "it's all matter: very tiny bouncing billiard balls" got applied to all reality. This yielded many fruitful insights for a while. So many insights were yielded that people got very attached to this metaphor until it became tired and cliche and exhausted its revelations.

All metaphors have to be stretched to fit around all of reality. Eventually we reach a point where the metaphor is stretched so thin we can barely see how it applies or it is stretched to the point that the original essential meaning of the words is almost entirely lost.

This same processes has happened with "consciousness". "It's all consciousness" is not literal, but a metaphor. It yields insights. But it has very quickly become a cliche that has been stretched pretty thin in certain areas.

The metaphor I'm currently stuck on is pattern and structure. It's all structure. Maybe it's because I'm an engineer. But oddly enough this metaphor has also led me to rediscover the metaphor that "it's all love" or "God is love". Love is a structure creating emotion and action. Hierarchical structure becomes corrupt and unstable over time if there is not benevolence from the top. A lack of love is destructive. Since we find ourselves enmeshed in a structure that is highly stable and partly hierarchical, I can only conclude from this stability that love prevails in this hierarchy.
For more on the metaphor metaphor:
 
#13
Love is a structure creating emotion and action. Hierarchical structure becomes corrupt and unstable over time if there is not benevolence from the top. A lack of love is destructive. Since we find ourselves enmeshed in a structure that is highly stable and partly hierarchical, I can only conclude from this stability that love prevails in this hierarchy.
Interesting, Hurmanetar. I was pondering what you wrote... How about the emotion of fear? As Machiavelli compellingly argued in his great work, The Prince, a more reliable motivator than love is fear. So if a structure could manipulate above-all the emotion of fear then it could keep things relatively stable. Not to say that the former in the carrot and stick relationship isn't important, but the stick tends to be more reliable (especially considering how flaky most people are).
 
#14
I generally agree, and I think we sometimes make things more complicated than is necessary. I mean, come on, we all know the difference between right and wrong. The NDE research Dr. Jeff Long has compiled seems to confirm this (329).
But does everyone know the difference between right and wrong? I guess you'd agree that psychopaths are real (i.e. those who actually get enjoyment from the suffering of others). I think the research on psychopathy is convincing, judging by studies on prison populations and using brain scans, etc.:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

Apparently psychopaths can understand the difference between right and wrong on a rational level, but to them it is perplexing -- they don't understand why others would be restricted in this way. To them it is absurd. So on a rational level they try to work it out, but on an emotional level they still respond positively to the suffering of others...

The NDE research Dr. Jeff Long has compiled seems to confirm this (329).
Something about your post reminds me of something I've found so frustrating about the NDE research. As I think we all agree, the reports of the people experiencing NDEs reveal an overwhelming degree of emotion, particularly love, often consisting of flashbacks about kind-hearted things the experiencer has done for others in the past...

But as some critics of the NDE/ESP research counter, why wouldn't people come back from such experiences with rational knowledge, such as (say) how to create specific technologies, or about exactly what say, a certain monument or ceremony looked like in the ancient world...

That is an important point by the critics but it doesn't discount the evidence that NDEs occur.

So what if the NDEs are an emotional experience somehow on whatever level, and that it is an interpretation of the experiencer that this must reflect the meaning of life and/or the constitution of the universe. The feeling of love seems so powerful that they conflate the feeling of love with everything else. But maybe this can be compared to what we know about emotional responses in the rest of nature. For example, for many people the emotional response is the main motivating factor in sexual intercourse, not the subsequent fertilization and spread of that organism's genes. That is why contraception can be so widely used. The person can still feel the emotion of being successful, but in terms of continuing the genes it is a dead end.

In other words, the emotion is not the purpose of life, it is only a motivational factor. Yet the motivating factor is so hardwired to be overwhelming that it is difficult to separate it from what the actual purpose behind it is...
 
#15
Seriah Azkath: Now, it’s entirely possible the UFO phenomenon has something to do with extra-terrestrials, but not in the materialistic way that’s always pushed. So that materialistic model isn’t just with science but it’s also in so many people studying the paranormal, that they just, everything has to be nuts and bolts and the facts do not support that nuts and bolts scenario.
On my travels (in Australia) I got to know a fellow at a hostel who told me that UFOs (lights in the sky) would often hover over his home in America out in the desert (somewhere like in Nevada if I remember correctly). This fellow also told me that the UFOs followed him around, even to other sides of the planet! I was skeptical about this, but he seemed to otherwise be an intelligent person, so I kept an open mind. Later that evening we were on the balcony of the hostel, with other people around, and he looked up at the sky and pointed out a light in the sky. It just looked like a star near the horizon. Then suddenly it moved extremely quickly; then it stopped, and moved in another direction extremely quickly; it repeated this and at speeds that would be impossible for any flying vehicle I know of, and changing directions so quickly that no pilot could survive it... I pointed it out to others on the balcony and it was just bizarre. I was so amazed that I was telling people in the hostel kitchen about it too.

The lights appeared in the sky for a few days even after the fellow left, but then disappeared after that. The only thing I've seen like this is from lights projected from a physical light on the ground, which I've seen once or twice before. But it still seems like an amazing coincidence that this fellow would say that UFOs follow him, and that he can communicate with them, and then these lights appear while he was there and then disappeared a few days after he'd left...

PS: From memory, he said that the UFOs can communicate with him to the extent that he is aware that they are there, and that their intention isn't hostile. I don't think it went any further than that, at least not from what he told me.
 
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#16
Alex, you may have missed my earlier question, so here it is again: can you give me a few examples of how various communities use the term "consciousness" in different ways? I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at.
 
#17
Alex,

That was a great interview. It is wonderful to hear people like yourselves - who have explored this whole realm so extensively - swap ideas.

My one niggle, is that I think you should split really long interviews -for those of us who prefer to listen to the podcast, it can be hard to maintain full concentration for such a long period of time.
 
#18
There are the Pizzagate guys, and then those of us who do no evil. We do unfortunate things like not brush our teeth, steal as teenagers, or punch someone in the head, or drive while drinking. Those things, however, are on the other side of the dividing line that separates unfortunate missteps from evil. The defining line also has to ignore the reincarnation world.
I have to ask if you are really Donald Trump posting on Skeptiko?

I have heard suggestions that once Sessions is sworn in, there may be arrests in the Pizzagate affair, and some of those will be politicians. Have you heard anything in the corridors of power?

David
 
#19
Interesting, Hurmanetar. I was pondering what you wrote... How about the emotion of fear? As Machiavelli compellingly argued in his great work, The Prince, a more reliable motivator than love is fear. So if a structure could manipulate above-all the emotion of fear then it could keep things relatively stable. Not to say that the former in the carrot and stick relationship isn't important, but the stick tends to be more reliable (especially considering how flaky most people are).
I almost included a comment on fear but feared I'd rambled on long enough for anyone to stay with me.

I think fear might be a more effective temporary motivator, but just as it taxes the body, it also taxes the larger political organizational structures leading to corruption and early death or rebellion of the people against tyranny.

"Fear is the mind killer." It's like Meth.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#20
The metaphor I'm currently stuck on is pattern and structure. It's all structure. Maybe it's because I'm an engineer. But oddly enough this metaphor has also led me to rediscover the metaphor that "it's all love" or "God is love". Love is a structure creating emotion and action. Hierarchical structure becomes corrupt and unstable over time if there is not benevolence from the top. A lack of love is destructive. Since we find ourselves enmeshed in a structure that is highly stable and partly hierarchical, I can only conclude from this stability that love prevails in this hierarchy.
Good post, on the last quoted part this was in my inbox -> Might be of interest:

TRANSCENDENTAL STRUCTURALISM IN PHYSICS: An alternative to Structural Realism

In physics, structures are good candidates for the role of transparadigmatic invariants, which entities can no longer play. This is why structural realism looks more credible than standard entity realism. But why should structures be stable, rather than entities ? Here, structural realists have no answer ; they content themselves with the mere observation that this is how things stand. By contrast, transcendental structuralism (a byproduct of KantÕs transcendental idealism) can easily make sense of this fact. Indeed, it shows that when knowledge bears on phenomena, namely on the emergent byproduct of a relation between the explorer and what is to be explored, this knowledge necessarily bears on relations between such phenomena. After a development on the clarifying power of transcendental structuralism, I turn to an early transcendental structuralist interpretation of quantum mechanics proposed by Jean-Louis Destouches (1909-1980). Destouches, an early French philosopher of physics, was a student of Louis de Broglie. He recasted in the 1940 the very concept of physical theory in the light of quantum physics. According to him, whenever phenomena are inextricably relative to the experimental set-up, a physical theory cannot provide anything beyond a list of interconnected predictions for future facts given a relevant class of past facts. In his general mathematical theory of predictions, the ! -functions of quantum mechanics do not refer to some ÒrealÓ waves; they are shown to be nothing but the formal expression of the phenomenaÕs being relative to incompatible experimental contexts. Since the quantization of variables can itself be derived from a wave-mechanical formalism, it becomes clear that the most prominent features of quantum mechanics are a mere consequence of contextuality. Destouches thus proved that it is easy to make sense of quantum mechanics provided a reflective attitude is adopted. By contrast, too many difficulties arise when one tries at any cost to make quantum mechanics intelligible within a purely ontological framework.
I'll be the first to admit the paper goes above my head but I hope others might make sense of it!
 
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